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Feds spend $1.8 million defending Stevens prosecutors

Sen. Ted Stevens

The federal government spent about $1.8 million on private lawyers for the prosecutors accused of misconduct in the botched prosecution of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. A Justice Department spokesperson told USA Today that it's customary for the government to help employees defending themselves against charges arising from their work duties.

Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the department has paid about $1.6 million since 2009 to private lawyers representing the six prosecutors targeted by that court investigation. It also paid $208,000 to defend three prosecutors from a separate finding that they had committed civil contempt of court. ...

The department spent the money while its internal watchdog, the Office of Professional Responsibility, is investigating the prosecutors' handling of the case. The department did not pay the outside lawyers representing its prosecutors in that probe, which is ongoing.

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